THE MCCONNELL EFFECT. The week began with Mitch McConnell reminding voters across the country exactly what he wants to do– cut Medicare and Social Security to pay for his budget-busting tax cuts for billionaires – and his candidates are paying the price:

  • The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on how Josh Hawley was forced to answer on entitlements in the first question of the #MOSEN debate:  “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley said Thursday night that he opposed cutting Social Security and Medicare to help erase the nation’s ballooning deficits and debt…Breaking with a suggestion by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Hawley said that if cuts needed to be made, lawmakers should look at taking federal dollars from the Affordable Care Act.”
  • Bismarck Tribune: “[Heitkamp] used her question to dig into his stance and comments on “cutting” Social Security and Medicare. Cramer said he’s only talked about “reforming” Social Security and Medicare to allow more revenue and to benefit future generations.

And that’s on top of increasingly absurd efforts by Republicans to cover up their toxic health care record.

The Los Angeles Times reported on the GOP scramble:

  • “Republican lawmakers and candidates across the country are suddenly telling voters they’ll protect preexisting conditions rules, brushing aside the fact that many voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act dozens of times and that GOP leaders pledge to resume that fight in 2019.”
  • “Hawley is one of several GOP state attorneys general leading a lawsuit to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, including preexisting conditions rules. The Trump administration supports the suit, arguing that the preexisting condition provision, in particular, should be eliminated.”
  • “Even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who led a government shutdown battle over Obamacare in 2013, said in a debate this week that he wants to repeal the law, but protect preexisting conditions.”
  • “Preserving protections for people with preexisting conditions is voters’ top concern among healthcare issues, according to another Kaiser poll of voters in two battleground states: Florida and Nevada. Nearly 70% of voters in both states said they’re more likely to cast their ballot for a candidate who wants to preserve the ACA’s rule than not.
  • In nearby Indiana, the GOP Senate candidate, Mike Braun, doesn’t have a record of voting for Obamacare repeal legislation, but is still trying to blunt any GOP liability on the issue.

Ted Cruz!  Ted Cruz, who forced a government shutdown to try and get rid of the protections he claims to support.  In a sea of lying liars running as Republicans this year, he is, somehow, again, distinguishing himself.

Don’t just take it from us.  The Washington Post grilled the GOP for lying about their intentions:

  • “Here’s the problem, however, with what McConnell and Trump are saying: Making sure people with preexisting protections are able to afford health care is part of the reason the ACA was passed to begin with. Before Obamacare, people with costly conditions had trouble accessing health care. Now, insurers are no longer allowed to deny them coverage or charge them higher premiums because of their illnesses.  And while the president — and Republicans on the campaign trail — are touting support for these protections, health-care experts said they seem to be disregarding their own actions to overturn Obamacare.”

And CNN: “The problem for Republicans — at least those who were in the House or Senate over the last two years — is that lots and lots of them voted for the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Which means they voted to get rid of the law’s provisions that prevent insurance companies from refusing care to people with pre-existing conditions and that allow a child to stay on his or her parents’ insurance until age 25. Those pieces of the bill were always VERY popular, and remain so. And most polling on the overall law suggests it has become more and more popular since President Barack Obama left office.”

And Axios: “Reality check: The Trump administration is currently arguing that the federal courts should throw out the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions. That lawsuit also includes 20 state attorneys general — all Republicans The overwhelming majority of Republicans in the House and Senate voted for repeal-and-replace legislation last year that would have weakened the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions..

See more headlines on McConnell’s In-Kind Contribution: Confirming, Again, Pre-Existing Conditions Protections Are on the Ballot.

Our bottom line: “Republican Senate candidates have been lying on the campaign trail about their promise to protect pre-existing conditions…Make no mistake: Republican Senators and Senate candidates have made their priorities clear: a vote for them is a vote against your health care, your Social Security and your Medicare.”

MCSALLY TRIES REWRITING HER HEALTH CARE RECORD, FAILS. Congresswoman Martha McSally tried the same brazen play as Lyin’ Ted, and everyone noticed:

  • Huffington Post: “Last year, she voted for her party’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including regulations that block insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions…McSally went on to accuse Sinema of lying ― three separate times. But McSally was the one rewriting history.”
  • Arizona Republic’s EJ Montini: “She says it is a lie to say the plan she pushed so vehemently would have forced those with preexisting conditions to lose insurance. She said such people were protected. Only they weren’t. The “protection” was a sham.”
  • Arizona Republic: “After casting her vote for the American Health Care Act, McSally issued a statement saying the legislation preserved protections for people with pre-existing conditions… ‘Consumer protections are things people want to see stay,” Derksen said. “The fact is that under the American Health Care Act of 2017, millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance.’”
  • AP: “The exchange demonstrated how Democratic arguments about health care are resonating with voters in the final weeks before the midterm elections…“McSally, voted for a wide-ranging bill that would have, among other things, undermined protections for people with pre-existing conditions and drastically changed and shrunk Medicaid.

HEADLINE: TRUMP WANNABE JIM RENACCI EFFECTIVELY PULLS THE PLUG ON WEAK U.S. SENATE CAMPAIGN. The Cincinatti Enquirer’s Jason Williams wrote a scathing column this week laying out Congressman Jim Renacci’s “desperate and despicable attempt to save his sorry U.S. Senate campaign while visiting The Enquirer newsroom on Wednesday morning.” Williams slammed Renacci for “uncontrollably slinging around mud and poo and whatever else he could find in the gutter, Renacci effectively pulled the plug on a campaign that’s been on life support since Day 1.” also profiled Renacci’s embarrassing campaign gaffes including using “a strip club owner’s plane to a family values conference” and running a campaign that “you’d expect from a rookie politician” on its podcast, “Ohio Matters,”

BAD WEEK FOR RICK SCOTT. Self-Serving Rick Scott piled onto the over 500 bad stories he’s earned in the first 180 days of his campaign this week as news of his terrible job as governor continues to make headlines:

  • Yahoo reported that his role in the red tide crisis may impact him the #FLSEN race, citing Floridians protests at his campaign stops which “chased Scott from the campaign trail and was replayed for days” and saying “he cut $700 million from water management budgets in 2011, and a year later he signed a repeal of a law intended to prevent pollution by requiring inspections of septic tanks every five years, saving residents the cost of fees.”
  • Florida’s NBC2 highlighted the bombshell New York Times story revealing that Scott’s so-called blind trust “may not have been so blind.”
  • The Orlando Sentinel outlined how Bill Nelson is holding Scott accountable on health care and “warning that Scott and the GOP could endanger the Affordable Care Act and its protections for pre-existing conditions.”


  • POLITIFACT: “It is 100 percent true that Republicans are not meeting the Affordable Care Act standard. And they are not trying to.”
  • #INSEN: RTV6: Joe Donnelly’s claims that Mike Braun doesn’t support protections for pre-existing conditions coverage are true. When RTV6 checked his claims they found that “Brauns’s companies deductibles are more than twice the state average, also the insurance does not cover prescription drugs for chronic conditions AKA pre-existing conditions until you meet the high deductible.”
  • MORE INSEN: FACTCHECK.ORG found that false GOP claims alleging a spotty hearings attendance record for Joe Donnelly were “based on inaccurate assumptions and incomplete data.” Instead, the nonpartisan fact checker revealed, “Donnelly attended nearly 95 percent of public committee and subcommittee hearings during that time.”
  • #MOSEN: KSDK: “…even if everything Josh Hawley says is true and they pass an insurance guarantee for pre-existing conditions, it would take years for that law to take effect. That means, with Hawley’s plan, those with pre-existing conditions could still go years without coverage if Obamacare is repealed immediately.”
  • MORE #MOSEN: KSDK ruled “that is true, that Hawley is actively involved in a lawsuit that would strip away protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.”
  • #WISEN: POLITIFACT: Leah Vukmir opposes Buy American legislation saying “her opposition to ‘big-labor mandates and giveaways that drive up infrastructure costs’” and work in the Wisconsin State Senate to “vote down a move that would have included “Made in America” provisions in the state budget” contribute to her opposition.

DEM ENDORSEMENT ROUNDUP. Across the map, Democrats are earning endorsements for their records of fighting for their states and getting results:


  • ARIZONA DAILY STAR: KYRSTEN SINEMA FOR U.S.SENATE. “Kyrsten Sinema’s Arizona is more pragmatic than ideological, unafraid to change, concerned about health-care affordability and access, values veterans, supports local law enforcement assisting federal immigration authorities and is inclined to work together rather than draw battle lines.”

#FLSEN. This week, Bill Nelson secured his sixth newspaper endorsement:

  • ORLANDO SENTINEL: FOR U.S. SENATE: BILL NELSON. “He’s a decent person who has served Florida and his country well, both in the military and in politics. Bill Nelson has earned another term in the U.S. Senate.”
  • PALM BEACH POST: BILL NELSON WORKS HARD FOR FLORIDA; KEEP HIM IN THE U.S. SENATE. cited Nelson’s leadership on issues of critical importance to the state, including fighting the opioid crisis and protecting Florida’s natural resources and delivered a scathing rebuke of Nelson’s GOP opponent, Scott, slamming his time in office as “marked by cronyism” and “high-handed legal actions to fight government transparency that have cost state taxpayers millions.”
  • TAMPA BAY TIMES: BILL NELSON FOR U.S. SENATE. “”U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has built a commendable career in public service as a moderate who steadily works in a bipartisan fashion on issues important to Floridians. … Gov. Rick Scott, who has consistently sided with the wealthy and the well-connected as he has eroded the interests of working families. Nelson has served Floridians well and deserves a fourth term.”
  • MIAMI HERALD: RE-ELECT BILL NELSON TO THE U.S. SENATE. HE PUTS FLORIDA’S INTERESTS FIRST. “Re-elect Bill Nelson to the Senate. He puts Florida’s interests first.” And “Scott has been an election-year Johnny Come Lately to many issues of the utmost importance to the state,” the newspaper wrote. “His poor environmental record … has led to the red-tide crisis on one Florida coast and a slick of blue-green algae on the other.”
  • SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL: FLORIDA AND THE NATION NEED BILL NELSON IN THE SENATE. “Nelson has been a workhorse, not a show horse. … It’s not just the people of Florida who need Bill Nelson back in the Senate. It’s all of the people of the United States of America.”
  • LA GACETA. The nation’s only trilingual newspaper, Tampa’s La Gaceta endorsed Nelson and slammed Scott for being “a bad governor.”


  • NWI TIMES ENDORSES DONNELLY.  Indiana’s second-largest daily newspaper, which endorsed Todd Young in 2016, endorsed Joe Donnelly this morning, citing his bipartisan style and deep knowledge of local issues



  • THE POST REVIEW: OUR CHOICE FOR U.S. SENATE IS TINA SMITH. “Smith’s depth of knowledge of the issues and her breadth of experience in government, business, healthcare and advocacy that places her above her opponent.”


  • ST LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: MISSOURI VOTERS SHOULD KEEP CLAIRE MCCASKILL IN THE U.S. SENATE. “Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has a long record of service in elective office. Her bipartisan voting record reflects the moderate political tendencies of Missouri voters. She is tough… We had expected a harder choice, but GOP candidate Josh Hawley, the state attorney general, has made it easier by undermining his own competitiveness with political miscalculations and blunders. He is running his campaign from the gutter.”


  • BILLINGS GAZETTE: KEEP TESTER WORKING FOR MONTANA IN U.S. SENATE. “A champion for U.S. veterans, agriculture producers, affordable health care, accessible public lands and the First Amendment, Jon Tester will continue to serve Montana well if voters re-elect him on Nov. 6… Tester has delivered for Montana.”
  • MONTANA STANDARD: RE-ELECT JON TESTER TO THE U.S. SENATE. “There are many reasons, we believe, to vote for Jon Tester in his bid for a third term in the U.S. Senate. Montana’s interests are best served by the man who has proven his commitment to them.”
  • BOZEMAN DAILY CHRONICLE: TESTER THE STATESMAN MONTANA NEEDS. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle endorsed Jon Tester for his “demonstrated record of statesmanship – reaching out to the other party and looking for the middle ground on issues important to Montanans.”


  • LAS VEGAS WEEKLY: OUR CHOICE FOR U.S. SENATE: JACKY ROSEN. “As a uniquely calm voice who strives for bipartisanship, she’s an antidote to the diseases that have infected the nation’s politics. At a time when insults, slurs and lies have hijacked civil discourse and party battles have mired Congress in dysfunction, Rosen is a throwback leader who has worked across the aisle to an exceptional degree while others have dug in to serve their party over the interests of the people they represent.”


  • COLUMBUS DISPATCH: KEEP SHERROD BROWN WORKING FOR OHIOANS. The Columbus Dispatch outlined his “focus and work ethic that has enabled him to build credibility and support in Congress that has served the state well.” It also slammed his opponent Congressman Jim Renacci for his “repugnant” attacks.
  • AKRON BEACON JOURNAL/OHIO.COM: SHERROD BROWN FOR THE U.S. SENATE. “Sherrod Brown understands what makes for an effective U.S. senator… That understanding helps explain how he steadily has gotten better at his job the past dozen years and why he makes such a strong argument for a third term.
  • CLEVELAND.COM: ENDORSES SHERROD FOR HIS “TIRELESS WORK ETHIC.” The editorial board backed Senator Brown for reelection, pointing to his “tireless work ethic,” “concern for the little guy,” and “connection to Ohio and support for its issues.”


  • UNIONVILLE TIMES: BOB CASEY JR. FOR U.S. SENATE. “Casey has been a voice on a broad range of middle of the road, common sense policies, a rarity in today’s polarized political environment. We think his increasingly vocal stances will show him to be an even better advocate for the commonwealth and its people over the next six years.”


  • KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL: WHY PHIL BREDESEN IS RIGHT CHOICE FOR SENATE IN TENNESSEE. “Phil Bredesen’s fair-mindedness, independence and civility are even more valuable, and they make him the right choice to don Tennessee’s historic mantle of statesmanship in the U.S. Senate.”


  • HOUSTON CHRONICLE: FOR U.S. SENATE: BETO O’ROURKE. “imagine how refreshing it would be to have a U.S. senator who not only knows the issues but respects the opposition, who takes firm positions but reaches out to those who disagree, who expects to make government work for Texas and the nation. Beto O’Rourke, we believe, is that senator.


AZ- Kyrsten Sinema vows to be a Senator who solves problems for Arizonans in “Go Forward.”

FL – Bill Nelson released three ads this week. “Closer” contends Rick Scott will be a rubber stamp on any Trump initiative, while Nelson’s loyalty resides with Floridians. “Got Rich” and “Swamp” explain why Floridians can’t trust Rick Scott to look out for anyone but himself.

IN – Joe Donnelly highlights the top five lies spouted by Mike Braun during their recent debate in the ad, “5 Lies.”

MN – Minnesotans tout Tina Smith’s promotion of technical and vocational training in the new ad, “HeadStart.”

MT – In Jon Tester’s new ad “Vets have Jon’s Back,” he features veterans who support him for his record of fighting for them and his wife highlights his record of standing up for Montana values in “Character.”

NM – Martin Heinrichs new ad “Labs and Bases,” touts his work to strengthen New Mexico’s labs and bases and bolster the state’s economy

NV – Jacky Rosen launched two new ads. In “We Need That,” Nevadans speak to Rosen’s tireless efforts to improve the state’s VA, education and health care and in “Spineless Lie,” she hits Heller for his false attacks on her immigration record.

ND – Heidi Heitkamp’s sister reveals how Heidi supported her through a difficult pregnancy and adoption process when she was 19 in the ad, “Melanie.”

OH – In “Rita,” an Ohioan details how Sherrod Brown personally cared for her family after the financial crisis and then sponsored a bill in her late husband’s honor.

PA –Bob Casey released three new ads featuring Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions who slam Congressman Lou Barletta for siding with the insurance industry and supporting measures to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions coverage: “Stacie,” “Lisa,” and “Amy.”


AZ-The Hill: Sinema campaign launches effort to target undecided GOP voters

FL-Fort Myers News-Press: Bill Nelson meets with residents, business owners still struggling with Florida’s algae crisis

IN-Kokomo Perspective: Pipefitters throw support behind Donnelly

MI-Detroit News: Peters: Why I stand With Debbie Stabenow

MN-KIMT3: US Sen. Tina Smith Discusses Lack of Childcare in Minnesota

MO-KSPR: Sen. McCaskill campaigns in Springfield Tuesday

MT-MTPR: Veterans Rally With Tester In Butte

ND-KVRR: Sen. Heitkamp Speaks to Seniors on Importance of Social Security and Healthcare Programs

OH-WDTN: Sen. Brown tours Brigid’s Path as CRIB Act awaits President’s signature

PA-The Daily Item: Casey: Health care fight is election’s top issue

TN-Jackson Sun: Phil Bredesen touts bipartisan past, advocates for lower drug prices while in Jackson

VA-Augusta Free Press: Kaine pushes Trump administration to protect students from lead in drinking water

WV-AP: Sen. Joe Manchin extols bipartisan work in op-ed pieces

WI-Urban Milwaukee: U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Announces Over $14 Million for HIV/AIDS Care and Support Services in Wisconsin

Lauren Passalacqua


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